Mirabell Palace In Salzburg: 5 Reasons Why You Must Visit

Salzburg is a stunning city, and there’s no doubt about it – its streets, landmarks, and tourist attractions look like they’re straight out of a movie! And let’s not forget its dramatic skyline that’s both breathtaking and majestic; alpine and baroque.

In fact, some of Salzburg’s attractions have actually been featured in movies! One of them is the Mirabell Palace, which is an absolute must-see. Here’s a little hint: Mirabell Palace was one of the filming locations of a famous classical musical movie.

In this post, I’ll tell you why travelers never miss a visit to Mirabell Palace during their trip to Salzburg, and why you should add it to your itinerary too. I’ll even include some must-see things at the palace! So, let’s get started! 

As a quick summary, Mirabell Palace is one of Salzburg’s top attractions, listed as a cultural heritage monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the rest of Salzburg’s Historic Center.

It is a beautiful place, featuring well-designed gardens and splendid architecture, making it a must-see attraction for any traveler visiting Salzburg.

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View of Mirabell Palace's small parterre from the northern gate which is another filming location of the movie, The Sound of Music, in Salzburg, Austria
View of Mirabell Palace’s small parterre from the northern gate which is another filming location of the movie, The Sound of Music, in Salzburg
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However, among the things that make Mirabell Palace a famous destination in Salzburg, it is its architecture, which has evolved over time, that deserves the most credit (in my opinion).

Today, its Marble Hall is considered one of the most beautiful places to get married in Austria, thanks to its gorgeous interiors. Later, you’ll see!

Originally built in 1606, the palace was rebuilt in a Baroque style from 1721 to 1727 according to plans designed by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt.

However, after a fire in 1818, the palace was restored and its current Neoclassical appearance dates from around that time. 

Mirabell Palace is not only a visual delight, but also a place of historical significance in Salzburg.

Over its 400-year history, the palace has served as the birthplace of a king (King Otto of Greece), the residence of an archbishop (Archbishop Maximilian Joseph von Tarnóczy), and even as the mayor’s office (and other government offices) after World War II.

Interestingly, did you know that Mirabell Palace was once called by a different name?

Originally called Schloss Altenau, the palace was renamed in 1612 after a dramatic turn of events:

Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau, the man responsible for building the palace for his mistress Salome Alt, was deposed and arrested.

His successor, Mark Sittich von Hohenems, banished Salome Alt and her family from the palace and renamed it Mirabell, derived from the Italian words mirabile and bella, meaning ‘amazing’ and ‘wonderful’ 

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5 Best Reasons to Visit Mirabell Palace

“Amazing and wonderful” — Mirabell Palace’s name simply explains why you must come and visit it.

However, there are five specific reasons why visitors come to Mirabell Palace. In the list below, you’ll find out what they are.

While these reasons may not make it more obvious that Mirabell Palace is a must-see attraction in Salzburg, they’ll surely help you make the most of your time when you visit.

Maximize your Salzburg adventure by checking out these Salzburg Travel Inspiration posts. They’ll help you find the perfect experiences to suit your preferences

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20 Sights and Landmarks in Salzburg: History & Architecture

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Reason no. 1 — Mirabell Palace and The Sound of Music

Step into the world of the beloved classic, The Sound of Music, by visiting the lovely Mirabell Palace in Salzburg.

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Western Facade of Mirabell Palace and the Pegasus Fountain (one of the filming locations of The Sound of Music ) in Mirabell Garden in Salzburg, Austria
Western Facade of Mirabell Palace and the Pegasus Fountain (one of the filming locations of The Sound of Music ) in Mirabell Garden
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Mirabell Palace (along with Old Town, Schloss Leopold, Schloss Hellbrunn, Nonnberg Abbey, St. Peter’s Monastery, Cemetery & Catacombs, and Felsenreitschule) is one of the filming locations of the movie.

Visiting it will transport you to the heart of the movie’s musical story. 

If you haven’t watched it yet, the Sound of Music is a movie that follows the story of Maria, a young woman who becomes a governess to the seven children of Captain Georg von Trapp, a widowed naval officer.

Maria brings joy and music into the children’s lives, teaching them to sing and play.

The movie is truly beautiful, featuring scenic places and unforgettable music. It’s also a meaningful movie, inspiring themes of hope, happiness, and resilience during difficult times.

One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Maria teaches the Von Trapp children the song “Do-Re-Mi” in the beautiful Mirabell Gardens.

In this part of the movie, Maria and the children dance and sing outside the Mirabell Palace.

It features various parts of the Palace’s Garden such as the Pegasus Fountain, Hedge Tunnel, Gnome Garden, and Grand Fountain.

Both the northern and southern entrances of the Mirabell Gardens are also shown in the movie. 

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Reason no. 2 — Mirabell Palace’s Garden

I’ve searched high and low, and let me tell you, there’s no place in Salzburg that’s more gorgeous than Mirabell Palace’s Garden or simply, Mirabell Garden.

It’s the most beautiful public park in the city, and if you’ve watched The Sound of Music, you’ll already know why!

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Different scenes from the Grand Parterre of the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, Austria
Different scenes from the Grand Parterre of the Mirabell Gardens
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With its elegant architecture, baroque flower beds, sculptures, and fountains, Mirabell Garden is a lovely place that you won’t want to miss.

As you wander around the garden, you’ll see 28 Greek and Roman heroes and gods starting at the entrance and all the way into the palace.

But that’s not all! There’s so much more to discover.

Overall, Mirabell Gardens will give you a taste of architecture, art, and nature all in one place!

Below is a summary of everything you can find in Maribell Garden and how you can explore it.

First off, when you enter the garden, you’ll be greeted by the “Grand Parterre”, which is very charming and one of the prettiest parts of the garden.

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The charming balustrades and the hedge arches tunnel (Sound of Music filming location) in Mirabell Garden in Salzburg, Austria
The charming balustrades and the hedge arches tunnel (Sound of Music filming location) in Mirabell Garden
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You can wander around and check out all the cool statues of Roman gods and the big fountain with four statue groups around it.

Next, take a stroll to the court next to the main part of the Grand Parterre, where you’ll find a cute Papagena fountain and an Orangerie that you can visit for free.

Don’t forget to check out the pavilion across from the Orangerie, which is used by the Salzburg Museum of Baroque.

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Colorful flowers in Mirabell Garden in Salzburg, Austria
Colorful flowers in Mirabell Garden
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Then, make your way to the “Small Parterre” located along the backside of Mirabell Castle and attached to the Grand Parterre.

Here, you’ll find a fountain with an awesome Pegasus statue, featured in The Sound of Music! So, take a moment to imagine the Trapp Family kids singing around it.

Continue your stroll with the Trapp kids (in your imagination) down the hedge arcade from the Pegasus fountain.

Near the hedge arcades, you can find a fun hedge maze with an 18th-century “Heckentheater” or “hedge theater”. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a performance in the summer.

After strolling in the maze, head northwards to discover the new “Zwergerlgarten” or “Salzburg dwarf garden”, displaying intriguingly deformed dwarfs.

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Fountains and statues in Mirabell Garden in Salzburg, Austria
Fountains and statues in Mirabell Garden
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Climb up the stairway north of Zwergerlgarten to reach “Vogelhaus”, an impressive house with an iron grid dome used for displaying fascinating art exhibitions today.

Finally, conclude your visit to Mirabell Garden at “Rosenhügel” or “Rose Hill” which you can reach if you continue walking northwards.

It offers an amazing view over Small Parterre towards Salzburger Dom and Hohensalzburg Fortress that’s perfect for a photo op!

You might want to discover Hohensalzburg Fortress’ sister — 5 Reasons To Visit Hohenwerfen Fortress in Salzburg. It’s one of the most beautiful fortresses in Europe.

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Reason no. 3 — Mirabell Palace’s Garden Picture-Perfect Views

If you’re on the hunt for breathtaking views of Salzburg, look no further than Mirabell Palace!

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The picture perfect views of Old Town and Hohensalzburg Fortress from Mirabell Palace's small and grand parterre, Salzburg, Austria
The picture perfect views of Old Town and Hohensalzburg Fortress from Mirabell Palace’s small and grand parterre

Learn more about Hohensalzburg Fortress (another highlight of Salzburg): Visiting Salzburg Fortress Hohensalzburg: What to Do Inside

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Nestled on the northern-eastern banks of the Salzach River, this magnificent palace offers a prime vantage point for taking in the charming sights of Old Town Salzburg and its majestic Hohensalzburg Fortress.

With its wide-open gardens, you can simply stand in the center, gaze southward, and behold the awe-inspiring fortress towering over the elegant baroque buildings in the Old Town.

And what’s even more remarkable?

The garden was meticulously designed to create a visual connection with Old Town, providing visitors with delightful impressions and inspiring them to capture the moment with their cameras.

As you meander along the central pathways between the vibrant flower beds in both Grand Parterre and Small Parterre, you’ll notice that they perfectly align with the view of Salzburg Cathedral’s grand dome and Hohensalzburg Fortress.

This creates leading lines and symmetry (photography compositional techniques) that result in truly stunning photos.

Learn more about Salzburg Cathedral: Complete Guide (with Facts and Visit Information).

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Reason no. 4 — Mirabell Palace’s Marble Hall

Architecture is another reason to add Mirabell Palace to your must-see list when visiting Salzburg.

This Baroque masterpiece attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year with its impressive architectural features.

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The grandeur of the Marble Hall with its shining chandelier and gorgeous entrance in Mirabell Palace in Salzburg, Austria
The grandeur of the Marble Hall with its shining chandelier and gorgeous entrance in Mirabell Palace
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From the elegantly-looking façade of the western wing to the “Donner Siege” central stairway with its marble, sculptures, and other artwork, there’s no shortage of beauty here.

Amazingly, as you ascend the grand staircase of Mirabell Palace, you’ll be greeted by a stunning display of different Greek and Roman statues.

Each one tells a chapter in the epic tale of the founding of Rome, which began in the palace’s garden.

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The elaborate grand staircase of Mirabell Palace in Salzburg, Austria
The elaborate grand staircase of Mirabell Palace
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From Anchises, who bravely escaped the flames of Troy with his father and son, to Caesar and his infamous assassin Brutus, the stairway is a journey through history.

However it’s the Marmorsaal, or marble hall, that truly takes your breath away. It’s the highlight of the Mirabell Palace.

This elegant and monumental example of Baroque craftsmanship features intricate golden stucco work, marble masonry, and statues.

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The elegant interior of the Marble Hall in Mirabell Palace in Salzburg, Austria
The elegant interior of the Marble Hall in Mirabell Palace
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Marmorsaal is considered as one of the most beautiful places in Austria to get married. With the elegantly romantic appearance that you’ll see, you won’t wonder why.

Some even say it’s a quintessential representation of Salzburg’s Baroque style!

Discover another must-see palace in Salzburg: Hellbrunn Palace: 5 Things To Do (a Must Visit in Salzburg)

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Reason no. 5 — Mirabell Palace Concerts

Have you ever dreamed of attending a world-class chamber music concert in a stunning historical setting? Look no further than Mirabell Palace in Salzburg.

Not only is the Mirabell Palace a popular tourist attraction, but it also offers one of the most unique and memorable musical experiences in the city.

Its splendid Marble Hall, with its gorgeous architecture and unique flair, provides an atmospheric setting for one of the most famous chamber music concerts in the world.

If you attend the concert, you’ll have the joy of listening to Mozart’s work live while taking in the beauty of the Marble Hall. 

Surely, your heart will surely be filled with emotion!

Most importantly, did you know that  Leopold Mozart and his children Wolfgang and Marianne (nicknamed Nannerl) once performed in this very room — the Marble Hall?

It’s why attending a concert at Mirabell Palace is an overwhelming experience that combines historical, musical, and visual delight.

You can learn more about the concerts here: Mozart Concert at Mirabell Palace

If you want a more special visit to Mirabell Palace, I recommend Mirabell Palace dinner+concert experience.

Check out what food is served in the dinner: Dinner and Classical Concert at Mirabell Palace

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Mirabell Palace Visiting Information 

Visiting Mirabell Palace and its garden? You can take note of these.

While most parts of Mirabell Palace are still being used as government offices and not accessible to the public, the most beautiful and interesting parts of Mirabell Palace like the Marble Hall, Angel Staircase, and its garden are open to the public, free to enter and explore. 

The Mirabell Garden is open daily from approximately 6 am until dusk, with partial closures during the winter months. Its Orangery is open all year round from 9 am to 4 pm, while the Hedge Theater and Dwarf Garden are closed during the winter months.

Lastly, although Mirabell Palace and Angel Staircase are open daily from 8 am to 6 pm, it’s important to note that Marble Hall is only open on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8 am to 4 pm, and on Tuesday and Friday from 1 pm to 4 pm.

Marble Hall may also be closed for special occasions such as weddings or concerts.

You may find the most up-to-date news, announcements, and schedule changes on the official Salzburg tourism website, which is linked in the resources section of this post.

Discover another highlight of Salzburg: Mozart’s Birthplace: Interesting Things To Discover Inside

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Sources: Mirabell Palace 

I hope you enjoyed reading my post about Mirabell Palace! If you would like to learn more about Mirabell Palace, here are some websites you can check out:

If you are traveling to Salzburg and need assistance exploring the city, please see the recommended tours below. They include Mirabell Palace and will provide you with a fun, convenient, and informative experience in Salzburg.

  • Original Sound of Music Tour of Salzburgbest for Sound of Music fans —this half-day tour visits Sound of Music filming locations in Salzburg and the countryside. See Leopoldskron Palace, Nonnberg Abbey, Lake Fuschl, Mondsee Cathedral, and Mirabell Gardens. Hear songs from the original soundtrack.
  • Salzburg 2.5-Hour Walking Tour: Mozart, Old Town & Morebest for travelers who love scenic views — Explore Salzburg’s heart: Mirabell Palace, Mozart Residence, Getreidegasse, and Old Town. Conclude with a panoramic view from Mönchsberg Hill.
  • Amphibious Audio Guided Tour on Land and WaterPleasant and unique experience —Take a unique amphibious tour of Salzburg, seeing Mirabell Palace, Mozart’s residence, Leopoldskron Palace, and more. Enjoy live commentary and an audio guide in 8 languages.

Before you go, you might like to discover an off-the-beaten-path destination in Salzburg: Visiting Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg: Tips and Information. It’s another filming location of the movie, The Sound of Music.

The charming village of St. Gilgen is also featured in the movie. Learn more — Visiting St. Gilgen: 7 Things To Do In This Beautiful Village

If you’re looking for the panoramic viewpoint of Old Town Salzburg or the Alps, you must see Mönchsberg (5 Things To Do on This Hill in Salzburg) or Kapuzinerberg (See The Best Views of Old Town Salzburg).

Lastly, here’s one of the best places to go for a day trip — Berchtesgaden Day Trip From Salzburg: Must Things to Do

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